NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is the Sun’s internal work and it is providing important new insights to break the record left, right and center. Last week it became the closest man-made object to the sun and it became the fastest man-made object ever, breaking its previous records.
It was zipping at 532,000 kilometers (330,000 miles) per hour in the outer atmosphere of the sun. To make you realize this feat, let’s put it in another context: some man-made objects have simply moved closer to the sun at about 0.05 percent of the speed of light. The solar probe already has a record of 393,044 km / h (244,255 miles), and the closest man-made object to the Sun, 18.6 million kilometers (11.6 miles), which was recorded in February 2020.
Now, these have been destroyed, at 10.4 million kilometers (6.5 million miles) from our star. And it is set to go further and faster. The investigation will take another 4 years to reach the nearest approach, using the Venus flybys as a slingshot to get close to the sun. The spacecraft will enter a very close orbit around the Sun, being as close as 8.5 times the radius of the Sun around the Sun. The next Venus flyby will be on October 16th this year, and the next closest record-breaking encounter with the Sun will be on November 21st.
Near the final approach of 2025, it will reach 0.064 percent at 690,000 kilometers (430,000 miles) per hour or the speed of light. Until then, it will continue to send back incredible images of its expeditions through the solar system.
The Parker Solar Probe now holds the record for the closest approach to the Sun by a man-made object. The spacecraft crossed the record of 26.55 million miles from the surface of the sun at about 1:04 a.m. on October 29, 2018, according to the Parker Solar Probe Team. The previous record for the closest solar system was set by the German-American Helios 2 spacecraft in April 1976 the expected surface in 2024.
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